Body Beast- Bulk Phase Review

Today marks the beginning of the Beast Phase (phase 3) of Body Beast for me. I could feel myself wearing out near the end of last week. I have learned to Listen to My Body and therefore knew that it was time for some recovery.

There are not specific “Recovery Weeks” built into Body Beast, as there are in P90X. I decided to take a few days to change things up. I did some extra foam rolling (I freaking love my Rumble Roller, and did anyone who watched Hard Knocks on HBO notice when they showed the players in the weight room that they were using Rumble Rollers?). I also did three Insanity workouts (Plyometric Cardio Circuit, Cardio Power and Resistance and Pure Cardio).

This afternoon I am going to begin with my first workout in the Beast Phase. I liked the Bulk phase workouts a lot. They are each significantly shorter (between 29-35 minutes) and focus on one muscle group instead of two or more. Given how short the workouts are, I found myself adding in additional ab routines (X2 Ab Ripper, Ab Ripper X, and Insanity Cardio Abs) as well as 2-3 Insanity workouts a week. I just didn’t feel like I was working hard enough.

I am going to stick more closely to script for this last phase. I will probably continue to do Abs 2-3 times a week, but I will cut back on the additional workouts. I was really happy with my Day 30 Results and I am excited to see what the Day 90 Results look like. You can see my Build Phase Review Here.

I am already starting to think about what will come next, Possibly The Asylum 2?

 

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Body Beast- Build Phase Review

I completed the Build Phase of Body Beast last Saturday and I wanted to quickly comment on my thoughts on the program so far.

I mentioned a few times in previous posts that I like the workouts, but am not a huge fan of the overall vibe. The workouts themselves, as in the routines, sets, and schedule are great. I have not been sore like this since last March when I first began P90X. I am getting bigger and stronger which I am happy about.

As far as the videos go, the crew, the theme, and Sagi himself, it gets old quick. Let me try to explain it this way: I will drink anything. Any pre-workout drink, shake, or Shakeology, I will drink. So when someone tells me they hate the taste of Greenberry Shakeology, I am like “Really? I thought it was fine”. The same goes for workout DVDs. I will do any of them. I just kind of ignore Sagi and the guys in the video and do the workouts. But for some reason, if I try to just use the workout sheets and do them without the videos, I don’t enjoy it as much (I have tried this with P90X workouts before). So although I do not love the workouts, I do them and feel good when I am done.

Overall I liked the Build Phase, but now that I am into the Bulk Phase workouts (I have done three of six), I am really liking this new phase. The workouts are shorter and focus on a single body part (I have done Chest, Legs and Arms so far). Because the workouts are shorter, I have been doing a bit more cardio, running and ab workouts. I have mixed in Insanity: Cardio Abs as well as P90X2 Ab ripper and Ab Ripper X.

I have been eating a bit more, and I am not happy with how it is making me look. I am going to stick with it for a few more weeks and see how my body adjusts. I am eating about 2500 calories as 40/40/20, carbs/protein/fat using MyFitnessPal to track my diet.

Once again, I think that Body Beast is not for everyone. There is an intensity to the workouts that I think would turn some people off. It is great for building muscle, and if you adjust your diet correctly, you can lose fat while doing it as well. One of the things I love about Tony Horton in P90X and X2 is that there is a non-threatening atmosphere to the workouts that no matter how much you are struggling, whether you are just starting or are on your 5th round, makes you feel like you are not in over your head. Part of it is Tony’s motto of “Do your best and forget the rest”. The other factor is Tony himself. This is something that Body Beast does not do with its “Whatever it takes” mantra.

Body Beast Week 3

For me, I think a good mix would be a Body Beast/Insanity hybrid. I like more cardio and am not looking to get huge. I know I can adjust my diet to meet my goals, but I enjoy mixing in more cardio. The Bulk Phase is 5 weeks (I am doing the Lean Beast calendar) so I am interested to see what the results of the next four and a half weeks are.

P90X2/Asylum Hybrid- Phase 3 (with some changes)

Today marks the first day of the final phase of my P90X2/Asylum Hybrid. I started off this morning with X2 Chest, Shoulders + Triceps.

I completely forgot how hard this routine is. I tried to up each and every number from the end of my first round of P90X2. In doing so, I was completely exhausted at the end of the workout. I love this routine because it is only 47 minutes long. I finished up with X2 Ab Ripper.

I took an awesome recovery week last week that included

  • X2 Core- Monday
  • Foam rolling and 3 mile run Tuesday
  • Insanity: Core Cardio and Balance Wednesday
  • X2 Core Thursday
  • Foam rolling and 3 mile run Friday
  • Yoga Saturday
  • 4.5 mile run Sunday

I felt awesome today. I have finally decided to stop screwing around and do something about the pain in my right lat muscle. Like an absolute idiot, I got talked into a pull-up competition at school on Thursday. So my back, which was feeling better, was on fire on Friday (I also got roped into two foot races with students, and won both handedly). For the next four weeks I am not going to do a single pull-up or back exercise in an effort to let this thing finally heal. That means that I will not be doing V-Sculpt on Wednesday. Instead I am going to do Chest, Shoulders +Tris on Mondays and X2 Shoulders and Arms on Wednesdays with Insanity: The Asylum- Speed and Agility Tuesdays and Asylum- Vertical Plyo on Thursdays. I will repeat this schedule for four weeks, ending with our trip to Cape Cod, which I am going to treat as a recovery week, followed by 2-3 weeks of the P.A.P routines from P90X2. With that I will have completed my second round of P90X2.

I am trying some of the new Beachbody supplements starting this week. I will get a review up once I give them a try. I just feel like it is time to switch things up a bit.

Speaking of supplements, I have about five packets of chocolate Shakeology that I am looking to send out. If you are someone who has been considering Shakeology, but are unsure if you would like the flavor, shoot me an email or a message of Facebook with your address and I will get those sent out. I will be ordering more samples of all three flavors in the coming weeks. Check out my Shakeology Posts for more info.

Don’t Skip the Yoga

I just finished my weekly round of X2 Yoga. I am still experiencing that euphoric feeling I always get afterwards. I know a lot of people who have done P90X hate the yoga, and I understand why. It is long, it is repetitive, and although it is “hard”, most people do not see the benefit.

I was never one of those people. Although X1 Yoga is really long (90 minutes) and somewhat repetitive, I did it every week and loved it. One of the major improvements in P90X2 is the yoga. It is about 60 minutes. It moves fast. It feels like a workout. And when I am done, I feel freaking amazing. Everything that was sore or tight or just didn’t feel right (my back is still bothering me) feels better after X2 Yoga.

My advice to anyone that is working out and does not take a day, or even two a week to focus on recovery, mobility and flexibility is not getting the max benefit that they could if they were to incorporate something like yoga.

I actually take three days a week. On Wednesdays I do P90X2 Recovery and Mobility (with my Rumble Roller) along with X2 Ab Ripper. On Saturdays I do X2 Yoga, and on Sundays I do Recovery and Mobility (or at least 30 minutes of foam rolling) followed by Ab Ripper X from P90X.

I have felt infinitely better since I started taking Wednesdays to do additional recovery. Don’t skip the yoga.

Sticking With the Changes-Shakeology Samples Available

I made some changes to the P90X2/Asylum Hybrid I have been doing. I found myself feeling really run down by the end of the week a few weeks ago. My Thursday and Friday workouts were suffering because I was feeling so beat up. I talked about this a little a few weeks ago.

In an effort to get more out of my workouts and maintain a level of sustainability with my routines I have started taking Wednesdays as a Recovery/Abs day. I foam roll and do either X2 AB Ripper or Ab Ripper X. I have been doing this for a few weeks and have noticed a major difference in how I feel towards the end of the week. In order to do this, I had to step out of the “90 Day Challenge” mindset, and step into a sustainable workout routine. I realized about a week into my hybrid that jumping right from one 90 day “challenge” to the next was a mistake.

The first time throught P90X2, I felt like I didn’t get as much out of the Strenght Phase. I think the newness of the routines and unfamiliarity with the moves led me to be unsure how and when to push myself. This is no longer an issue, which helps me get more out of it. I am lifting heavier, or more reps in almost everything.

With my school year ending, additional outside work being done (updates coming on the deck that is soon to be built) my thesis due this summer and everything else that is going on, it was just too much.

I am seeing the benefits of this change already. I did X2 Shoulders and Arms this morning and was able to increase my reps or weight in almost every exercise. I have maintained the same weight and am still sticking to my 1900 calorie diet. I have gone back to drinking just Shakeology for breakfast.

On that note, I still have a few Shakeology samples available. I have both Chocolate and Greenberry (I can order Tropical Strawberry samples if anyone is interested.) I would love to get these sent out this week. If you have considered Shakeology in the past, but are unsure what it is like, shoot me an email or message on Facebook and I will get them sent out.

Ab Ripper X- I Hate it, but I Love it

I was reflecting on my way into work this morning. It takes me anywhere from 30-35 minutes to get to school, which gives me time to just quietly think.

I realized that for much of the first 9 months of my journey, I didn’t write a thing. I think part of me wanted to get through the program and be surprised by the results. So instead of chronicling my journey, I hid and worked my butt off. Looking back, this was a mistake, because it is hard to reflect and share with others what I experienced, almost a year later.

I have a bunch of friends doing P90X classic right now, and I would love to be able to refer them to posts that I did about the individual workouts and what I experienced. Instead, I am going to just post some of my general thoughts about the program and what I liked and didn’t about it.

One thing I know I dreaded those first three months was following up the resistance workouts with Ab Ripper X. The first time I did it, I could not do it. I felt like I was going to puke afterwards. Instead of quitting on it, I decided to follow Tony’s advice and modify, modify, modify. My preferred method of modification for Ab Ripper was to do less of each move (they do 25 of each of 11 moves) and complete the entire disk. Instead of shooting for 25 of each, and getting to “Heels to the Heavens” and having to quit, I did 10 of each, all the way through with as many Mason Twists as I could manage. The next week, I upped it to 12 of each, the next week 15 and so on.

I can honestly say, that even after 9 months straight of P90X, Ab Ripper was still hard and I still had to occasionally take a break. It wasn’t until I was about a month into P90X2, where the entire first phase is focused on improving Core strength that I got “good” at it. I decided one day a few weeks ago to test how far I have come. I threw in Ab Ripper X, immediately following X2 Ab Ripper, and was able to do the entire routine, including 80 mason twists without any breaks.

The moral of the story, Ab Ripper X is hard. I still do not “look forward” to it the way I do some of the other workouts. But it works. I have abs for the first time in my life.

  

 I have continued to mix in Ab Ripper X occasionally, just because I miss it so much. My first few times through X2 Ab Ripper, I thought it was easier. Having now gone back and retried Ab Ripper X, I realize it isn’t any easier, my core strength is light years beyond where it was in December when I finished up round 3.  As evidence by my ability to do Crane, which I never could. And then go from Crane to handstand.

 I did this the other day:

elbow balance, pincha mayurasana

Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture.

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